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Sri Lanka retailer expand solar powered outlets with IFC finance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Richard Pieris Distributors will get 15 million US dollars to expand its retail chain, with solar panels on the rooftops, Washington-based International Finance Corporation, a World Bank unit, said.

“IFC’s support comes at an important time as we step up our operations and widen our network of branches across the island," Group Chairman of Richard Pieris & Company Sena Yaddehige said in a statement.

"Through this planned expansion, we will contribute towards improving food safety and consumer access to better quality food products at affordable prices."

Self-service supermarket are less than 20 percent of the total trade in the country and can be used to collect valued added tax easily.

"As the sector grows, companies like Richard Pieris Distributors are in a prime position to expand their networks, boost employment opportunities through small businesses in their supply chains, and create value for consumers," Amena Arif, IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives said.

IFC will give a loan of 7.5 million US dollars and the balance 7.5 million dollars will come from Canada Climate Change Program.

IFC said the investment will help generate over 800 jobs directly by 2020 and help the company "adopt green building measures and promote climate-smart technologies."

A part of the money will be used to install solar panels on store rooftops.

In Sri Lanka a powerful green lobby has forced Ceylon Electricity Board to provide net metering facilities.

Backed by the regulator large households are effectively charged penal taxes by selling over-priced power which makes solar panel investment viable.





The households then ‘sell’ power during daytime when demand is low and they are then given power back at the night time, when the marginal cost of production is highest, effectively losing the utility their best customers and giving profits to solar panel firms. (Colombo/Mar21/2016)

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